Sunday, May 20, 2012

I am now sipping...

a delightful Portuguese red wine in Lisbon after a relentless voyage for nearly a month at sea.  I am sorry I wasn't able to make more timely posts along the way, but will make it a priority to back-post daily entries after my head hits my pillow in the States.  I have an early hop to Heathrow tomorrow morning, and then a long flight to Dallas, then another hop to Grand Junction, Colorado still to come.

Stay tuned.  It was a fantastic adventure to countless volcanic islands, including great geology, terrific travel companions and wonderful cultural experiences, that will all be highlighted in the days ahead.  As enjoyable as it was, it was still a lot of work with lectures, zodiac driving, herding people and occasionally catching up on sleep.

Okay.  One more glass and then I'm turning in.  Gotta make that flight in the morning.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The largest volcano in the Atlantic...

is Pico del Teide, rising to a  12,198 ft (3,718 m)-high summit, on the island of Tenerife.  It's the third largest volcano in the world (when measured from its base on the sea floor), following Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.  Here's the spectacular view as we emerged from the mist (click images to enlarge):
Pyroclastic deposits reflecting its recent eruptive history are well-displayed in a road cut near the viewpoint for the image above:
A small group of hardy walkers joined me for a several mile-long hike at about 7,000 ft in elevation that looped around the Roques de Garcia, a volcanic dike, and then dropped down onto the floor  of the Caldera Las CaƱadas:
Later in he day we descended the north side of the island to Puerto de la Cruz for lunch, followed by a walk through the magnificent botanical gardens:
We rounded out our full day with a quick visit to the historic village of La Oratava, where I snapped this flock of pigeons in flight: